5 Facts You Need to Know About Vaping
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health, and nearly 7-out-of-10 individuals say that they want to stop. Many people try electronic cigarettes (i.e. e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other vaping devices) as a way to ease the transition from smoking to not smoking at all. However, research shows that e-cigarettes are still harmful to your health and are just as addictive as traditional cigarettes. Here are five facts you need to know about vaping:
- Vaping is less harmful than smoking, but it’s still not safe. In 2020, there was an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths associated with vaping. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 2,807 confirmed cases of e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) and 68 deaths. A study done by The Johns Hopkins University on vape ingredients revealed thousands of chemical ingredients in vape products, most of which are not yet identified. Among those that could be identified were several potentially harmful substances, including caffeine, three chemicals never previously found in e-cigarettes, a pesticide, and two flavorings linked with possible toxic effects and respiratory irritation. One chemical, Vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent often used in vaping products, was found in all lung fluid samples of EVALI patients examined by the CDC.
- Electronic cigarettes are just as addictive as traditional ones. Both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes contain nicotine, which research suggests may be as addictive as heroin and cocaine. In fact, many e-cigarette users get even more nicotine: users can buy extra-strength cartridges, which have a higher concentration of nicotine, or increase the e-cigarette’s voltage to get a greater hit of the substance.
- Vaping is bad for your heart and your lungs. As stated above, the addictive nature of nicotine can lead users to crave a smoke and experience withdrawal symptoms if the craving is ignored. Nicotine is a toxic substance – it raises your blood pressure and spikes your adrenaline, which increases your heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.
- Electronic cigarettes aren’t the best smoking cessation tool. Although they’ve been promoted as an aid to help people quit smoking, e-cigarettes have not received Food and Drug Administration approval as smoking cessation devices. A recent study found that most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to use traditional and e-cigarettes.
- A new generation is getting hooked on nicotine. Among youth, e-cigarettes are more popular than any traditional tobacco product. According to the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2021. There are three reasons that e-cigarettes may be enticing to young people:
- Many teens believe vaping is less harmful than smoking.
- E-cigarettes have a lower per-use cost than traditional cigarettes.
- Youth and adults find the lack of smoke appealing. With no smell, e-cigarettes reduce some of the stigma of smoking.
St. Luke’s University Health Network is dedicated to helping individuals create a successful plan to quit smoking. Schedule a visit with one of our providers to begin a smoking cessation program. In addition to one-on-one sessions with a provider, St. Luke’s offers a virtual Smoking Cessation Support Group on Mondays at 7:00 p.m. For more information or to schedule a visit, call 484-526-2036.